Daniel Rudd, founder of the National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC, was
born August 7, 1854 to Robert and Elizabeth Rudd. Daniel was one of 12
children. His father was a slave on the Rudd estate near Bardstown,
Kentucky and his mother was a slave of the Hayden family in Bardstown.
Both parents were Catholic.
After the Civil War, Daniel Rudd moved to Springfield, Ohio (where his
elder brother, Robert Rudd, was living), in order to get a
secondary-school education. There in 1886 he began a Black newspaper
which was called the "Ohio State Tribune." That same year, Rudd changed
the focus of this weekly newspaper and gave it a new name, "American
Catholic Tribune," the only Catholic Journal owned and published by
Colored men. The newsletter is presently published by the NBCC as the
African American Catholic Tribune newsletter.
In 1889, Daniel Rudd called together the very first National Black
Catholic Congress. This meeting was held at St. Augustine Catholic
Church in Washington, D.C. Distinguished men of African descent came
from all over the United States to participate in this historic event.
President Grover Cleveland invited them to the White House for a
meeting. Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first recognized Black priest ordained
for the United States of America, was present and celebrated High Mass.
Daniel Rudd orchestrated five Black Congresses in his time. One was held
in 1894 at St. Peter Claver Church Hall, in Baltimore, Maryland, and an
opening dinner was held at historic St. Francis Xavier Church on the
east side of the city. Fr. Cyprian Davis, OSB, noted historian, states
that Daniel Rudd is one of the most important figures of the nineteenth
and twentieth century since he published the newspaper and promoted the